Having a laugh at the credit crunch.

Moments of levity are few and far between in the financial crisis. Gordon Brown’s quip when a mobile phone went off during a speech – that it was someone ringing to tell him about another banking collapse – is perhaps the high point in the humour stakes.

Another contender for best meltdown joke came from a wag who said that with the part-nationalisation of Royal Bank of Scotland, direct insurer Churchill should be rebranded as Winston Churchill. Ok, it’s not side-splitting, but we can’t afford to squander laughs in these frugal times.

So to cheer us all up, here’s a game for your Hallowe’en bash: pass the toxic collateralised debt obligation. Whoever is holding it when the music stops has to pay £40bn. Sure to bring the whole party to its knees.